My cameras - opinions needed (long) - Please help.

Started Nov 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
Stevie Boy Blue
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Re: My cameras - opinions needed (long) - Please help.
In reply to GeraldW, Nov 21, 2012

Gerald

I can only give my opinion based on FZ models. Although I own a Canon Powershot A610 amongst my collection that takes some lovely images and has some great colour tones, its limited focal range and 5mp sensor would hardly serve anyone as an all-round, do-it-all machine.

So, it’s FZs all the way for me, and I feel that you and I have travelled a very similar path in terms of some of the FZ models we’ve both owned in the past, although our subject matter may differ greatly more often than not. In fact, I distinctly recall your obvious enthusiasm for the FZ150 at its time of release last year. I’d even hazard a guess that your postings amongst other contributors regarding initial findings in relation to FZ150 image quality encouraged no small number of forum visitors to go out and buy the model. I know I was certainly inspired by the glowing reports you were posting at the time. I even recall some DPR bigwig popping into the forum and thanking you for all the time and effort you’d invested re the 150.

What was blatantly obvious to me at the time was your enthusiasm for good image quality. Reading between the lines with your experience of the both the FZ150 and the newer FZ200, I see no change in this regard. It seems to me that if out and out image quality is as important to you as you’ve impressed upon us in the past, isn’t the FZ150’s the way to go, simply because in your experience and by your own admission it delivers better results in higher ISO settings?

Like me, you’ve ‘put up’ with the limits of the viewfinder on the previous FZ 28 and 38. Admittedly I’ve no experience of the newer 200 in this regard, but I know for sure that ultimately to me, image quality is the most important factor of the lot. I can still frame subjects with my FZ150 viewfinder, which is all I really need to do in all honesty – and I photograph some really small and tricky things at that, and despite the fact that my eyesight's far less than perfect nowadays!

Simply put, I don’t need to own an FZ200 to see how some of the ergonomics and specs have been improved over the FZ150 (they were all too obvious at the time of release). But neither do I need to own the FZ200 to see that in many instances – and from the hands of some of the most experienced FZ photographers who post on this and other similar websites – it cannot quite match the FZ150 in the image quality department and especially relating to higher ISO settings in the jpeg format. You’ve as much as said it yourself Gerald; you favour the lower noise levels found in your FZ150 images over the higher noise levels found in your FZ200.

You’ve also suggested that despite the improved EVF on the newer model, you could put up with that found on the FZ150, although you’d rather not. The question is what actually bothers you the most, overall image quality or the thought of going back to the less eye-friendly FZ150 viewfinder and a few other things about the older model that may niggle a bit?

Obviously I won’t attempt to make any decision for you. All I will say is that from my point of view, I’ve sat on any decision to upgrade from the FZ150 to 200. I was so impressed with the 150 that I felt it would serve me well beyond the 2012 generation flagship model and possibly beyond. In all seriousness, I’m really pleased that I waited and took the time to observe the reports and findings of those honest enough to give them in relation to the FZ200. Even better from my perspective is that some of those finding and opinions have come from contributors having owned both the FZ150 and 200, along with other FZs before them. To reiterate then, of all FZ samples posted here and elsewhere, and including any previous FZ model anyone could mention, I’ve seen absolutely nothing to suggest that in the FZ150 I don’t already own the best photo-producing flagship model that Panasonic has made to date. And I’m not just saying that because I don’t own the 200. I saying it because I’ve seen enough comparable samples and read enough reviews and opinions to convince me that the FZ150 is best suited to my demands.

Whether next year’s FZ250 will change my opinion remains to be seen. But regardless of what aesthetic and user improvements the model may boast over the 200, if the image quality of any newbie fails to meet that which I’ve come to expect from the FZ150, I will again hold out until something truly worthy of my cash comes along. I’m sure that even if I owned a DLSR with prime lenses, the FZ150 would be the first model I reached for in all but a minority of instances where, let’s face it, any small sensor camera would be outperformed and to obviously noticeable effect, such as retaining fine detail indoors and in very poor light. Who knows, come 2013/14, a true small sensor DSLR replacement bridge camera might be available, and not necessarily at the hands of Panasonic. I'd guess that compromises in relation to shooting will still need to be made by some users though, as I'm sure the perfect camera for all can never actually be made by anyone!

In the meantime, I thank you again for all those inspirational postings you made in 2011 in respect of the FZ150, save to mention all that printing paper you must have used.  I’m sure that a few other forum members still appreciate your time and efforts too.

Good luck with any ultimate decision you come to.

Regards

Stevie Boy

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